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tv   Anderson Cooper 360  CNN  June 29, 2010 1:00am-2:00am EDT

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american people will be secure. >> larry: pretty good mind, the late senator byrd. time now for anderson cooper in new orleans and "ac 360." anderson? >> thanks very much. live in louisiana on day 70. the last thing they need down here right now is it a bad storm. take a look, tropical storm alex now in the gulf. the question tonight will it put the cleanup and well-capping work in jeopardy? will it deepen the nightmare. parts of the sea already are too rough for skimming. we begin as we always do, keeping them honest. new evidence, new outrage that bp still seems to be playing number games and word games instead of being open and honest about the spill. in an interview with the "times picayune" doug suttles said knowing how much oil is gushing out of this well is important. "the flow rate has never
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impacted the response. it's extraordinary imprecise and we took a view very early on, we didn't think you could do it. meaning measure the flow rate, and we didn't think it was relevant either." bp had always planned to overreact to the spill, planning for a worst case scenario. if that is true, how come they're still scrambling to get containment vessels here and boom and skimmers and just about everything else. to continue to claim it's just too hard to estimate the oil, and besides, it's irrelevant. and then on the other hand to have pushed a stunningly low estimate of 1,000 barrels spilling as bp did for weeks after the saturdayer, that does not pass the smell test, the picayune pointed out on june 11th, james watson concluded that bp's response plan was based on unrealistically low flow rates. he wrote to doug suttles, i'm
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concerned your current plans do not provide for maximum mobilization of resources to provide the needed collection capacity with revised -- consistent with revised flow estimates." that was admiral watson saying, they hadn't planned well enough to capture enough oil. what is truly stunning is doug suttles response two days later saying "we will continue to adapt our plans as more is learned about the flow rate from the well." they're going to adapt their plans as more is learned about the flow rate. but then he says the flow rate is irrelevant. doesn't that seem a complete contradiction. on june 13th, he tells the united states government the flow rate matters. 12 days later he says it doesn't matter, it's irrelevant. the truth is not irrelevant. maybe hard to find, it may be hard to measure. but it matters. it matters, because your company will be fined based on the flow rate.
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the public has a right to know what your company has done. it matters because scientists will be studying the impact of oil on animals for years here. and it matters because an entire way of life for oystermen, shrimpers, fishermen, an entire way of life is threatened. why is bp determining what matters in this situation. bp has been trying to control information here from day one. they don't come on the broadcast, as we pointed out. we invite them every night. they sent their own employees to start reporting on the spill. the bp reporters in the gulf have been portraying a very different version of what's happening here. here's a report from bp, a guy named tom sezlar, where the fibbing industry is devastated. much of the region's other businesses, particularly the hotels have been prospering, because so many people have come here from bp and other oil emergency response teams. that was bp's paula colmar.
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on the 26th of may, reports of looking for tar balls on pensacola beach and finding none. she could have gone to louisiana, where the oil was already smothering the marshes and nobody was cleaning it up. tom sezlar had a bpi.d. and no problem getting past security to get on to the beach. something other reporters were prevented from doing. it -- meaning the beach -- was closed so a mighty bp-led force could continue preparing it and be ready to defend it against any oil. that is relevant to bp, but determining how much oil is gushing and spreading ashore, that is not. i talked about it a few moments ago with james carville and billy nungesser. what do you make of doug suttles
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coming out and saying the flow rate is irrelevant? that it doesn't matter to the effort or overall, how much oil is pouring out every single day. >> how do i say this delicately, let me think? he's lying. lying, lying, lying. the statute says if they show gross negligence it could be up to $4,000 a barrel fine. they first tell us -- i'm the worst lawyer in the world, but i think i could take on the bp legal team. 4,000 barrels a day. they started out saying it was 1,000. they're going to put new estimates, saying it's 80 to 100. what is that, $32 million a day. >> doug suttles in his own letter to the coast guard, because the coast guard said, your response isn't enough based on the flow rate. doug suttles said we'll change the response as we learn more
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about the flow rate. he acknowledged in his letter to the coast guard, it is important to know. but publicly it's irrelevant. >> how long are we going to let them tell us what they're going to do. when is the government going to say, get out the way, we'll measure it. why are we letting bp still run the show? >> the story is saying the government wants them to put more instruments down there. >> right, new sensors in the new containment. >> why don't we just have someone go down and put the sensors and send them the bill. doug suttles is lying. he just out and out bold faced lie. he's lying, you know it, i know it, the world knows it. why doesn't the government just go down, tell us what the flow rate is,charge them $4,000 a barrel for everything that goes out and let's get on with our business. >> what's so bizarre to me is that for the first several weeks, the government was going
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along with bp saying, we're planning for a worst case scenario, so it doesn't matter to know the exact number. if you're fighting a fire, you need to know how big the fire is. >> we keep seeing it roll ashore day after day. we've got more coming ashore than we're cleaning up. it definitely matters. it matters to the wildlife, the wetlands. it matters to the way of life in louisiana. we have to know what we're up against. the dispersements are keeping below the surface, so we don't know. it's coming ashore underneath the surface and it's making it difficult to fight. >> every time we've gotten a wrong figure. >> not just the downside, we're talking 1,000 barrels a day to now they're saying 65,000. >> we know we're going to 80 to 100. everybody in the scientific team knows they're not comfortable with this. they're own people know this. the guy from purdue took one look at it and said, it's 75,000
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gallons of water. everyone knows the 35 to 60 is bs. i don't believe that figure, no one in the scientific community believes it. and the government is now asking them to put the monitors on that, just go put the monitors on that. third party contractor. but bp has every interest in not doing that, and we have to understand that. >> it was really on a few weeks ago the coast guard insisted the monitors be put down there -- that sensors be placed for the first time. we went for a month and a half without any sensors being placed down there. >> the dispersements are the same thing. it's absurd that we put up with this. >> we should point out that we asked bp yet again to come on the program to talk about this, they declined. they've sent out two of their own reporters to kind of bring back stories for a bp blog.
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the stories they come up with. one, they had problems finding the oil. one was about searching for tar balls, the reporter was ultimately not able to find it. they heard there were tar balls in pensacola, they went and found happy people on beaches. >> if they want to find 4,000 acres of thick oil destroying wildlife, eating up the marsh, and in the marsh where everything is dead, come to plaquemines parish, it's destroying our way of life on a daily basis. >> we all went down there must have been five weeks ago, found all we wanted to find. >> we suck it up daily, and it keeps coming back. >> that article was may 26th, when they couldn't find the oil. we have more ahead with billy and james. let us know what you think, the live chat is running at ra a month ago, the government asked bp to pay for mental health treatment. a month later, we're still waiting, what is bp doing about it? they sent a letter.
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today the state of louisiana asked bp for $10 million for six months of mental health services for people affected by the spill. last week we saw a suicide of a fisherman in alabama.
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he had given over his vessel to work in the cleanup. it's obviously no way to know exactly what -- why someone takes their life. his friends said this was the result of the spill that a lot of it was weighing on his mind as a result of the spill. it's impossible to put yourself in somebody's mind. the concern is, we're going to see more actions like that. and certainly already mental health experts are seeing an uptick in people calling, an uptick of people in distress. in the wake all this -- in light of all this, the state has asked for $10 million in mental health services. it's a ask today, they asked a month ago. bp responded with a letter. tonight we're keeping them honest. >> reporter: mental health experts say a crisis is brewing here, growing angst about jobs, giving way to depression and maybe even suicide. you might think bp would be
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meeting every request to help in this area. think again. this all started back on may 28th when the state of louisiana asked bp for $10 million. specifically to treat mental health. on june 13th, doug suttles responded not with a check, but with a letter. suttles wrote, he's had spirited discussions with the state and looks it forward to continuing the dialogue. exactly how is that dialogue going? has there really been much dialogue? >> no, i tell you. we're -- there season the a time for dialogue as it relates to mental health. we're now seeing -- the people that we have on the ground are telling us they're seeing increased evidence of people drinking. increased evidence of those factors that lead to depression, anxiety, stress. we have children involved. there's no time for dialogue. >> reporter: keeping them honest, we tried to ask bp why it isn't paying the mental health cots of the spill.
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bp told us, we have received a request for funding around mental health programs. we are discussing the request with several stake holder groups. the state put $1 million of bp money toward mental health treatment. but they've already treated 2,000 people and that money is almost gone. today levine fired up another letter to suttles asking again for $10 million that will support six months of outreach programs. does it concern you that u gone back to bp and said, look, we really need this money. >> that's why we've put a deadline on it. >> reporter: you don't have to tell that to the doctors here, they can't keep up with patient demand. they get as many as ten calls a week by people traumatized by the spill.
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leading to a two-month wait for an appointment here. more money would mean they could hire more doctors and treat more patients. >> reporter: ideally how much money do you need? >> $500,000 would be wonderful. >> reporter: do you think they are responsible for paying for the treatment people need to get help here? >> yes. >> reporter: chuck coleman couldn't agree more. >> i would hope that bp would pay for this. and realizing permanent issues could be diminished by taking care of mental health. >> reporter: not taking care of the issue could make it more expensive to treat later. if bp doesn't pay, you will in louisiana. because the state may be forced to raise taxes to pay for it. randi kaye, cnn, new orleans. >> a lot of people suffering here, we'll be following the story closely to see if bp deliver s delivers.
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keeping them honest. more now on my conversation with billy nungesser and james carville. the state of louisiana has asked bp to pay $10 million worth of mental health and counselling for people. bp has said no. do you think bp should pony up money for mental health issues? >> absolutely. every time somebody goes on tv and says it's not a big problem or we're going to worry about the beaches, the fishermen, the families that have been devastated, it's just another blow to them. we're seeing it really affect these lives. and we've got a lot of churches in the parish working with the people. but it's taken its toll on not -- no end in sight. and it really doesn't seem like we're fighting this war on all fronts. not to have that full 100% support pulling out all stops is devastating itself to the
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people. >> a fisherman in alabama committed suicide last week, we don't know what was going through his mind. you never can know this. although his friends said the oil spill was weighing heavily on him. >> you can go to alaska, we have a lab. exxon walked away from those poor people after they cleaned this stuff up. the mental health problems they have up there are profound. people have been doing this all their lives, doing it for fourth, fifth generation. i talked to the sheriff in st. bernard parish. people that he knows that are just in a -- one guy said all he's going to do is eat and wait to die. that's exactly what he said. >> come to church sunday morning in plaquemines parish and come down and see these people. >> what kind of calls do you get? what kind of stories do you hear? >> i get four or five calls a night, with people not knowing how to make ends meet. when is it going to end? are they ever going to get their life back.
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women, mothers in tears. it's hard, it's difficult for me, and you don't know what to tell them. you don't know when it's going to be back. >> president clinton, 20 thousand vietnamese came here, they uprooted their lives. >> what do you tell them? >> bp did get an interpreter, they didn't feel comfortable. we hired our own in the parish today and started meeting with them. it's difficult enough to speak their language, these poor people don't have a clue. they don't know what's coming. this is allny know. >> what do you tell people, the mothers, the wives that call you up? >> you don't know what to tell them any more. you hope bp makes them whole, we stop the oil, we get our way of life back. >> people around the country are thinking, bp's going to pay them a lot money, and make them
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whole. even though that may happen down the road, people need to pay their bills now. >> week to week, they're hanging on. we have a lot of good charity groups giving out food. >> people are giving out food? >> today we had the general manager of the hornets giving out food, we had four trailer loads, we ran out of food. >> it's not just earning a living, it's a way life. it's an entire culture. if you went in there and gave them the money they lost, it wouldn't matter, if they don't have that culture, that way of life. if they don't raise their kids like that, can't pass that on, they have to move from there. somebody may look at it and say, look at that, it's humid out there and it's marsh land, they have storms that come -- people
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love that land. they love what they do. their fathers, grandfathers, great grandfathers have done the same thing. you cut them a check, you haven't done anything. this is their life, they love what they do. that's what people don't understand about life here in south louisiana. we don't want to move. they will have to take a check, they don't want a check. they want their life, they want to earn their living the way they do. >> thanks. when we come back, chris lawrence uncovers some welcome news about the drilling moratorium. money from washington that even the man in charge of the money didn't know about until today. and the latest on tropical storm alex, already in the gulf. chad myers is following for us. - apple or cherry? - cherry. oil or cream? oil or cream? cream. some use hydrogenated oil. reddi-wip uses real dairy cream.
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there are already a lot of people who are out of work. the government's six-month ban on deep water drilling has taken a toll here. the obama administration appeals a decision to lift the ban. workers are in limbo. they should be compensated for their losses. will they? the man overseeing all the
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payouts is still learning how the payout plan will work. >> reporter: first the oil spill itself took out fishermen and restaurant owners. bp set up a $20 billion fund to cover their damages. president obama's six-month ban shut down deep water drilling. and bp set aside another $100 million to pay the workers on those rigs. the truckers, caters and cleaners that supported those shutdown rigs have nothing and are angry at washington over what the ban has done to them. how is the moratorium going to affect you? >> basically i have no job. i load up 10, 12 trucks a day to go out to the oil rig. i have none. i know i'm just waiting for the axe to fall. it's got to. that company cannot survive
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holding on to guys like me. they can't. >> reporter: is this just affecting people who live right along the gulf coast of louisiana? >> no, no. i live in atlanta. i drive to work every week. the rigors and the crane operators and stuff, they come from mississippi. some from alabama. >> reporter: this be weekend we took their concerns to ken feinberg. >> how are we supposed to feed our families, pay our bills, get to work. >> i understand that you only want what you're entitled to as an unfortunate victim of this spill. >> reporter: the man president obama appointed to take charge of the claims process, to see if their damages can be covered. >> will you be handling claims for people at all whose businesses have been affected by the moratorium? good yes. i now have discovered. i didn't realize this until yesterday. but the moratorium claims will fall under my jurisdiction. >> that's a huge development. we didn't know that before. >> i didn't either.
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i just learned yesterday that the administration and bp have agreed that the moratorium claims will fall under my jurisdiction. >> i find this stunning. i had no idea -- clearly he didn't know about this. just to be clear. when he says the moratorium claims, that means the claims not by the oil rig workers themselves who have lost jobs, but the people who support them, they can put in for claims in this $20 billion fund? >> exactly. when i first heard it, somebody should tell the doctor what patients he's going to be operating on. but, yeah, this is the people who support the rig workers. the rig workers are covered under that $100 million. >> although rig workers will say, that's not enough. >> right. and that's probably going to have to get increased. for every one man on the rig, you have 10 to 15 other supporting jobs that load the supplies, that run the boat that bring the food out to them. bring the supplies, clean the boat. there are many more supporting
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jobs than there are rig workers. these guys were in limbo for a long time. now what ken feinberg is saying, they're going to be covered under that $20 billion. it doesn't solve all their problems, but it at least gives them some place to go now to start filing their claims. >> i find that surprising. i didn't know that. thanks very much. our investigation into bp's relationship with the u.s. agency that was intended to regulate it. and the path on tropical storm alex gaining strength. expected to become a hurricane. chad myers is tracking the storm and its possible impact on the gulf and oil operations coming up next. [ rattling ] [ gasps ] [ rattling ] [ laughing ] [ announcer ] close enough just isn't good enough. - if your car is in an accident, - [ laughing continues ] make sure it's repaired with the right replacement parts.
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we told you at the top of the hour about the dangerous weather threatening the gulf. tropical storm alex gaining speed in strength, could soon become a hurricane. chad myers joins us with the latest. what do we know? >> we know it's getting big. it's almost filling up the gulf of mexico. here's miami, all the way back up toward new orleans. here's brownsville, texas. the yucatan peninsula. in just the past couple hours, look at the swirl that this thing is gathering now. it's over warm water again.
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warm water is is the engine for a hurricane. it's the fuel about it's the premium unleaded that you put into a hurricane when you get it over warm water, 87 degrees like this is here. it can really explode. that's what we're expecting from this storm system for the next couple days. right now it's only a tropical storm. there's no question it will become a hurricane. the forecast track, anderson, is not to come up toward the oil slick. that would be devastating. even where it is right now, it's not a great scenario. because where it will be spinning -- if you take a look at the winds coming in here from the southeast, 48, 72 hours worth of wind from the same direction, that oil will move right back into the marshes of louisiana, into mississippi and alabama, even though it may be hundreds of miles away. the center am be close enough to make that big spin there in the atmosphere.
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we are going to get a brand new update. i want you to come back to me in about 15 minutes, literally. all the numbers you see from alex, where it's going to be tuesday, wednesday and thursday, that will change. so will some of the wind speeds. they will change for the 11:00 advisory, it's usually 15 minutes beforehand. the big story, i think is what the computer models are doing. no computer model right now. we haven't talked about this for a couple years. no computer model takes the storm and turns it toward the oil slick. that would be where all this oil, where all this water would be pushed on land here. that would be the worst possible case. the best possible case, let's change direction a little bit. this thing doesn't get any bigger, but it travels to the east and goes over florida somewhere as a 30 mile per hour rainmaker. what would that do? it would shift the wind direction like this, and take
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the oil and blow it into the middle of the gulf of mexico. allow it to sit there for a longer length of time. the more oil that stays out there, the more it turns into a tar ball. it's easier to pick up the tar balls than the liquid oil. i don't see a best case or worst case. we get what we get. my son says, don't pitch a fit. that's what you get today at least. >> the waves are increasing as the wind increases in the gulf? >> absolutely. >> the churning action, some hope will have a positive impact on the oil in terms breaking it up. in terms of bringing in the other containment vessel they've had to hold off on that, and getting that hooked up, because you can't do that in huge waves? >> right, and the waves will also, as you think about them propagating along here, and the winds blowing in that direction. the waves will bring the oil slick further and further into the marshes of of louisiana, back into the chandelier islands, gulfport, mobile. it will -- the winds will move
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the oil away from florida. what was kind of sneaking toward panama city that will begin to be pushed back the other direction. great news for the florida beaches, certainly not great news for anybody over here in the path that oil in the next couple days. >> we will check in with you a little later on for that update. first, let's check in on some other stories we're following for you tonight. >> general stanley mcchrystal is calling quits a week after he was replaced as the top military commander in afghanistan. the pentagon says mcchrystal will retire from the military. he infuriated the white house when he and aides mocked the president and others in an interview in "rolling stone" magazine. robert byrd, the longest serving member of congress died today at the age of 92. byrd was a master of senate rules and an expert at steering federal spending to his home state of west virginia. he first entered congress 57 years ago.
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dick cheney is out of the hospital. he was admitted after what a friend says was an irregular heart rhythm. cheney has had five heart attacks. and political observers love wondering how long it will take our current vice president to say something he should not. this weekend joe biden stopped at a custard shop in wisconsin and told off the manager who made a flip comment about cutting taxes. >> what do we owe you? >> don't worry, it's on us. >> lower our taxes -- >> say something nice instead of being smart all the time. >> afterwards he went back and said he was just playing around. at least he's not a boring vice president. >> i guess that's certainly true. still ahead, when bp got its operating permit for the
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we'll have more on tropical storm alex in a moment. we want to tell you about a major supreme court decision today. one that was handed down in the hearings for elena kagan. it's a landmark second amendment ruling, one that could have sweeping repercussions for the entire country. jeff toobin joins us now. you say because this ruling, virtually all bets are off when it comes to handguns in the united states? >> absolutely. the idea that the second amendment at all protected individuals' right to keep and
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bear arms was considered an almost freakish view. as a result the work by president reagan's people, they have laid the groundwork, they have appointed the judges so that gun control is now presumptively unconstitutional in the united states. the decision today was all state and local ordinances have to recognize that gun ownership is a fundamental american right. so it will mean many, many dozens of statutes off the books. and where it ends, i don't know. because i assume that it will still be illegal to buy a stinger missile and hang out by an airport. but it is by no means clear what the limit is between owning a handgun, which is now clearly legal and owning a stinger missile. >> well, i mean, obviously a stinger missile is not a gun. but what about assault weapons, things like that, things that there have been bans on in the past.
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is all that automatically overturned? how does this work? >> it's not automatically overturned. but i am confident you and i will spend the rest our lives hearing about supreme court cases saying stinger missiles, no good. machine guns okay. silencers no good. guns for felons, okay. this was a fundamental right like freedom of speech, like the spreed open of the press. children have freedom of speech, freedom of the press. does that mean children have the right to bear arms? these were the kinds of issues that were totally off the table for decades. it was chore that the government had to the right to regulate access to handguns. that is no longer true, and all bets are off. >> practically, do we know how this works? i mean, there's still gun checks that that will remain in place, right? >> for the time being, but they
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have not been tested. i mean, this is a new set of laws. this is a new understanding of how the constitution works. so we can anticipate that all those -- like the brady law, the gun checks law will be challenged in court. and it's very hard to predict how courts will interpret what the court did today, because the earlier ruling on gun control, the heller case from two years ago. justice scalia said the federal government has to keep the right to bear arms. all state and local governments have to recognize that gun ownership is a fundamental right. there are many, many more state and local laws about gun ownership than there are federal laws. the nra is a very aggressive, very successful organization. they will lead challenges. other gun groups will lead challenges.
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and i think anyone who predicts today that they know exactly where this is going to end is blowing smoke. i don't think anyone done. >> i want to talk about elena kagan's confirmation hearings today. how did it go for her? >> i think it was a pretty predictable day. most republicans were hostile, arguing she was a political partisan, someone who had worked in the clinton administration, worked in the obama administration, who couldn't put aside those views. there were a lot of references to the period of time when she was dean of harvard law school, and she threw military recruiters off campus because of the university's objection to the don't ask don't tell policy. but the bottom line is, there are still 58 democratic senators after robert byrd's death. there is no organized attempt at a filibuster, i think the odds overwhelmingly favor her confirmation at this point.
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how many votes she gets, i don't know. tomorrow is the day when they have a chance to question her. her good fortune is that the republicans are going to be going after her at the same time that david petrais is going to be testifying on capitol hill. so it probably won't even get that much attention. no news is good news for her. >> all right. jeffrey toobin, appreciate it. thanks. next on the program, did bp get a free pass when it got its operating permit from the government for that deepwater horizon rig. and tropical storm alex possibly soon to be a hurricane. - ♪ hey, what you doin' today - [ phone rings ] - [ horn honking ] - [ tires squealing ] ♪ i'm ridin' down the highway i'm just rollin' ♪ [ announcer ] without the right auto insurance, a crash might impact more than your car. [ no audible dialogue ] make sure you're properly covered... so when you're driving your car, you're not risking your house. [ cat yowls ] - travelers. take the scary out of life. - ♪ hey
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new leadership and a new name, tonight the federal agency in charge of regulating the agency is accused of being given a loophole. bp was not the only one that was given the free pass. here's joe johns keeping them honest.
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>> reporter: before it ever began drilling out in the gulf, bp got an extraordinary gift from the government. the agency that regulates offshore oil exploration declared it didn't believe the deepwater horizon would cause any environmental damage, so bp deserved a pass. bp would not be required to comply with a tough law that would have forced the oil giant to fully assess what risks its rig might pose to the environment. >> the whole thing is a mess. >> here's what bp did not have to do, they did not have to produce specific information on the equipment it was using or the place where it was drilling. bp didn't have to answer this question. could there be a serious accident affecting the environment? in other words, bp got to skip what would have been the toughest and final environmental review it would face before drilling. that final environmental review would have taken time. it would have itemized in detail all the things that could go
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wrong, and how that could hurt the vice president. and that would almost certainly have delayed final approval to drill. instead, bp got the pass from the agency at the interior department that's supposed to regulate it. keeping them honest, as bad as all this sounds it gets worse. it's not just bp and deepwater horizon, in fact, most oil companies working in the gulf get the same pass. that means of the hundreds of oil projects operating today in the gulf, most got to skip that final critical environmental review. >> so is the whole system is broken. it's not about bp having some individualized way of gaining the system. the oil industry has gained the entire system from top to bottom. >> reporter: documents supplied to congressional investigators by the interior department agency, the mms, show that since president obama took office, 254 oil development plans and 226 exploration plans in the gulf were approved without the final environmental review.
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the documents also show that every administration dating back to the first president bush used the loophole. now it could end. >> we're closing the loophole that's allowed some oil companies to bypass critical environmental reviews. >> reporter: even if the administration closes the loophole, what about all the other projects currently operating in the gulf? >> you really need to go back and redo that entire decision. instead what's happening, the department of interior is allowing the bad decisions to stand and come around the back and fix it with safety inspections. that's just not good enough. you've really got to go back to square one on this stuff. >> reporter: sometimes starting over is hard to do. especially if you've already gotten the lease, leased the rig, and hired the crew. eric molito is with the american petroleum institute. >> you don't want to hurt that industry any more.
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this industry provides a lot of economic input and jobs to that gulf region. >> reporter: there are other environmental reviews prior to this final one bp and others did not have to pass. none as rigorous. the law allows 30 days for this review. given the slow pace of government bureaucracy, no one thinks they can get done in 30 days. that's another reason why the agency gave bp the pass. the interior department won't comment because of pending litigation. now the whole process is being reexamined by the white house, too late to help. >> this whole thing stinks. if bp hadn't taken the shortcut, would we be where we are today? >> one thing we do know is that mms and a lot of the oil companies in one way or another have been gaming the system in trying to get more and more oil out of the gulf. it's highly possible they would
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have gained the system to their advantage, even if they got the environmental review. the bottom line is, if you talk to people who really cover this stuff closely, they say if there had been a real environmental test there at the end of the process, with a real hard look at what bp and others have been doing, maybe we wouldn't be in this spot right now, anderson? >> we also, of course, now know that the figures that bp and all these companies were using, which were government figures about the impact of an oil spill, they were based on a surface spill, not something at such deep water depths, which, frankly, the government hadn't studied. all the data was wrong even if they had filled out the forms. we have more information on the path of tropical storm alex. >> the news is now that the hurricane watch that was from baffin bay all the way down to brownsville and la cruz mexico, that's a hurricane warning.
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the forecast is for this to become a hurricane in the overnight hours tonight. right now it's bumped itself up a little bit, 60, 65 miles per hour. you can see how the purple has really gotten a lot stronger in the past couple hours. the forecast as itself -- we'll get rid of this whole thing here, throw it away. you'll see the storm probably will travel to the south of brownsville, we always focus on the cone. it could be all the way to corpus christi and all the way down to la pesca. we don't have any forecasts that would take it near the oil spill, that would push the oil much further inland. it does not look like that's going to happen. we will still get the winds from this direction for many hours. maybe three days. that will push the oil into the marshes of louisiana and mississippi beaches as well as we work our way into friday and saturday. anderson? >> chad, you may have said this already, but when do you think this will come ashore?
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>> this will come on shore late in the night on wednesday night and thursday morning. probably even this time wednesday night. maybe as late as 2:00 a.m. thursday morning. right in here, right along the coast south of brownsville. >> all right. chad, appreciate that. thanks very much. quickly, let's go back to joe johns and get a quick update of some other stories we're following. >> the federal government says it uncovered an extensive russian secret agent ring inside the u.s. the justice department arrested 10 people today all accused of working as agents for russia. the arrests were the tip of the iceberg and said the accused all trained together. in peru, an appeal from joran van der sloot, the accused killer wants his confession thrown out. he's claiming his civil rights were violated after he was arrested for allegedly murdering a young woman. his lawyer says he'll use every possible law available to convince a court that van der sloot was treated unfairly by the police.
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call it tour de tweet, lance armstrong used his twitter account to tell everyone this year will be his last tour de france race. he said, it's been a great ride. he's won seven tour de france titles, placed third in last year's race. what a ride indeed, anderson. >> incredible. do you think he's actually giving it up? >> you know, it seems like he's quit a couple times and decided to come back. i wouldn't put money on it, if i were a betting man. >> all right, joe, thanks very much. we have a lot more from the gulf at the top of the hour. this is day 70 this disaster. it's the sixth consecutive week we've been down here reporting. we'll be in gulf all week long. i hope you stick with us all week. i'll have more news at the top of the hour, be right back.
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